Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt is the first major exhibition to focus on one of the most fascinating aspects of ancient Egyptian culture and religion—the mummification of animals. Drawn from the renowned collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Soulful Creatures features choice examples from among the many millions of mummies of birds, cats, dogs, snakes, and other animals preserved from at least thirty-one different cemeteries throughout Egypt.
While the exact significance of animal mummies has largely remained a mystery, this exhibition investigates the many provocative theories proposed to explain the practice, and offers dynamic presentations of its origins, techniques, and rituals as well as recent scientific tests that have uncovered key information about the methods used to create animal mummies. By drawing on archaeology, cultural history, and modern medical imaging, Soulful Creatures presents art history informed by the latest technology.
Soulful Creatures offers a fresh view of the meaning of animal mummies within Egyptian society and a new understanding of the ancient world through some of its most extraordinary surviving artifacts. The exhibition explores the role that animals and their images played in the Egyptians’ natural and supernatural worlds. It also explains the different kinds of animal mummies that the Egyptians produced and modern scientific methods for analyzing these mummies.
Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum.
Seated Baboon. From Egypt. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18 to Dynasty 20, circa 1539-1075 B.C.E. Wood, 8 7/8 x 4 15/16 in. (22.5 x 12.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund 61.127